Talk Show #1 or Can’t We Take a Pencil and Paper Test?

This was an enlightening lesson on perseverance and demonstrating growth mindset.  We have come to the end of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Haddon;  a wonderful book about the challenges facing an adolescent with Asperger’s.   I decided to try an alternative assessment: a talk show from my latest PD book, (Steineke 142).


At first the students were excited and there was energetic discussion .  They decided on creating a show around what happened to the main characters after the book because Haddon leaves a few questions unanswered.  However, when I explained that the content, i.e. the script with textual evidence weighted more that the performance, frustration set in.  “Let’s take a regular test”, they whined.

I spoke about enjoying the challenge of a new activity and had a discussion about the essential questions we had discussed:

What’s it like being , as Temple Grandin put it, different but not less?

In what ways does the protagonist act like a typical teen and in what ways are his actions unusual?

It was then that one of the group members came up with an idea: the protagonist’s journey towards independence; an upbeat, optimistic theme of accomplishment.

This paved the way for a ‘meaty’ as well as entertaining script.


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